In the summer of 1967 a guy halts his steps in a field in Wiltshire, retraces his steps the way he came for a few yards – then turns back. He repeats this to-ing and fro-ing for a while. At some point he steps aside and photographs the line which has become visible in the flattened turf as a record of his walking.
July 2017: I halt in the middle of a large snowfield in Laponia, turn around to see that our feet have worn a brown line into the surface and press the button of the GoPro to film Tom struggling towards me across the ice.
The guy in Wiltshire is Richard Long, English sculptor and land artist. His photograph is in the Tate Modern and bears the title ‘A Line Made by Walking’.
Long and I have this in common: We are both fascinated by the meaning of paths and leaving traces.
With repetition, small interactions like ‘walking’ become well-worn marks in the landscape. But by and large, the only traces we register as human interaction with the landscape are toilet paper, ...
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